Five decades ago, Kate-Lo began as a small Minnesotan buying group. We’ve since become the leading tile distributor in the Upper Midwest, and one of the largest tile distributors in North America.
In 1964, a group of private investors formed a tiling company called Kate-Lo Minnesota. The company name was an homage to two of the partners’ wives: Kathleen (Kate) and Lois. Within a year, Bill LeVahn joined Kate-Lo and operations moved to Bill’s home in Robbinsdale, MN. During this time, distribution increased from three states to twenty.
In 1974, Kate-Lo Minnesota incorporated and moved the warehouse, corporate headquarters and 13 employees to Brooklyn Park, MN. Our focus at the time was providing beautiful showrooms and large stocking inventories to the local construction industry. In the following years, we created more showrooms throughout the Twin Cities. In 1987, Kate-Lo employees bought out the original investors with an employee stock ownership plan.
Partnership with Olympia Tile
In 1990, Olympia Tile—one of the largest tile distributors in North America—purchased Kate-Lo. This was a big opportunity for Kate-Lo to expand not only its product line, but also its reputation in the U.S. market. Kate-Lo opened branches in Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE. In the Twin Cities, we have showrooms in Plymouth, Burnsville and Roseville and a Retail Outlet Center in Plymouth.
The tile industry is always changing, with new technology and designs being introduced all the time. For over 50 years, Kate-Lo has stayed on the forefront of tiling innovations. We look forward to many more years of bringing you the world’s best tile.